Dan Patrick Had Cameron Crowe at This Question

A Jerry Maguire query 20 years in the making

Fun interview today on The Dan Patrick Show with writer-director Cameron Crowe. The conversation was an informal follow-up to one the host had recently with Jay Mohr and started with some discussion of Jerry Maguire. From there, the topics ranged across some of Crowe’s other movies.

When Patrick asked if “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel was always the one the filmmaker had in mind for the big boombox scene in Say Anything, Crowe explained that star John Cusack, as a big fan of Fishbone, had “Boning in the Boneyard” playing on set during filming. Once pulled up in editing, Crowe realized that wasn’t going to work. “Every song we tried didn’t work,” the writer-director recalled; both existing and a special one written by hired songwriters.

Then one day, driving to the editing studio, Crowe tapped a playlist from his wedding. When “In Your Eyes” came on, the filmmaker was immediately struck by how well the lyrics might work for the boombox scene. That was confirmed in the editing room, after which some challenging negotiations with Gabriel eventually panned out.

But it was the next song question that really got Crowe. Patrick circled back to Jerry Maguire and the scene in the car where Cruise’s character lands on “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. Said Patrick: “He all of a sudden decides to stay on “Free Fallin’,” and consciously and subconsciously, he is free falling, or about to be…”

“Look at you, Dan,” Crowe said, jumping in. “This is deep-tissue stuff. I love this.” Namely, that the message being sent to Maguire was that he was about to go into free-fall, but Maguire wasn’t hearing that message.

“You are correct. My dream was that you would one day feel that,” replied Crowe. Then adding more seriously, “You’re actually the first person to say that. But that was the plan.”

It’s virtually impossible, 20 years later, for a reporter to ask someone like Crowe something that the filmmaker has not already heard. At a junket, as part of a big magazine profile piece and so on. Good stuff.

Previously on Fishbowl:
For Jim Nantz, Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Airport Flattery